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Friday, October 06, 2006

Concomitance: A Mutilation of the Sacrifice?

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Where is Andrewes's deep problem with Roman theology on sacrifice? It surely isn't in the fact that the Eucharist is the Christian sacrifice and a sacrifice that is more than praise and thanksgiving but one that is 'peaceable and Eucharistic.' I will offer my translation from his exchange with S. Robert Bellarmine for a discussion of whether or not concomitance may improperly result in a mutilation of the Christian sacrifice. Andrewes writes,
Yet it pleases the Roman Church to give gratitude to him, about the increased number of sacraments. For if the Cardinal had made it a true and whole sacrament under the species of bread, then it would still be true however and whole under the species of wine: (by adding these two to the remaining six) now the number eight will rise [bring out of hiding] the sacraments, which the Church will accept thanks to the Cardinal. Truly the Sacrament is nothing unless there is participation of the sacrifice. Indeed a sacrifice is peaceable and Eucharistic. Consider Israel next [in regard to flesh], are not they who eat the sacrifice participants in the altar? But also the sacrifice is not whole unless the Body has been broken, as well as the Blood having been poured out, but is a mutilation (admitted by the Cardinal); therefore the participation of the sacrifice is not whole unless anyone is a participant in both parts on the one hand the broken Body and the other the poured out Blood. The Apostle denotes the Symbol of the Body, by the bread, which we break, of the Blood, with the chalice, which we bless. The bread, a participation of the Body, the Cup, a communication of the Blood. He repeats afterwards, you are not able to drink the chalice of the Lord and the chalice of demons. Just as he is concerned about the chalice which should be drunk, likewise he is concerned about the bread that should be eaten. But if on the other hand, under the species of bread thus, (as you say) the Sacrament is whole; when the Priest descends on the Sacrament, why is he not content with the whole? More than the whole why is it necessary that he takes? Why is what is whole for the people, not whole for him? Why does he order that they are happy and he himself is not? Because (as you know) he considers the envy that should be brought about. I think him to be an avaricious priest for whom it is more necessary it is enough. (Translation mine from the Responsio.)

5 Comments:

Blogger Brian Douglas said...

It seems the problem with the Roman view of eucharistic sacrifice is as you suggest with concomitance. Andrewes clearly believes that the communicant participates in the sacrifice of the altar and that the sacrifice is peaceable (I assume this means that it is real but not immoderate). The problem for Andrewes seems to be that which he sees as non essential (i.e. concomitance) and the rules which surround it. He uses the technique of taking this doctrine to extremes (the argument about 8 sacraments) in order to show that it is ridiculous.

10:39 pm  
Anonymous Jason Loh said...

"It seems the problem with the Roman view of eucharistic sacrifice is as you suggest with concomitance."

Yes and, I think, alongside it (i.e. concomitance) is also the corollary difficulty with the Roman priesthood as the only authorised sacrificers of the Mass. Also, the Words of the Institution per se is not sufficient to effect "Transubstantiation" but depends upon (the intent) of the priest standing in persona Christi to complete and perfect the making of the Sacrifice. Andrewes seems to link the "wholeness" of the Sacrament (including its sacrifical aspect) with participation, i.e. eating and drinking, grounded in the examples of the Old and New Testament Church(es). He seems to deny that the priest alone makes the Sacrament to be a sacrifice, "peaceable and Eucharistic". By "peaceable", I take him to mean a true and proper offering or oblation (Godward) which propitiates the Father and (manward) expiates the sins of the co-offerer. By Eucharistic, I think Andrewes was reiterating the integral role of the sacrificium laudis (praise and thanksgiving). Both are, sacramentally speaking, necessary components of the Eucharistic Sacrifice with the one taking liturgical precedence over the other in order and honour. Yes, there's no doubt that Andrewes believes that concomitance which is used to justify the withholding of the cup from the laity (contra sub utraque species) mutilates the Sacrament, for according to him, its fulness requires more than just the act of priestly consecration of BOTH species.

4:45 am  
Blogger Brian Douglas said...

I take 'peaceable' to mean that it is an unbloody sacrifice, that is, Christ is not sacrificed again, but rather Christ's once and for all sacrifice is renewed and applied in the Eucharist such that the effects of that sacrifice are made known, proclaimed etc. in the present in the Eucharist. Peaceable suggests the dynamic sense that anamnesis implies. By 'eucharistic' Andrewes seems to be distinguishing between the historic sacrifice (once and for all) and the eucharistic sacrifice (the renewal in the present).

7:20 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

As far as peaceable, Andrewes means that it is a propitiatory sacrifice that is needed due to our sins committed after baptism. It is the application of the one offering that is applied anew in the oblation of the Church in the Eucharisic sacrifice.

The issue of the priesthood that Jason brings up is very important and that was THE issue for Trent. But, interestingly enough, what one finds when reading about the role of the priest in Andrewes's theology can be clearly seen in the three-fold offering of the Eucharist found in Laud's explanation. Laud said there are three: one, the priest offer alone and that is the commemorative sacrifice of the cross, the next is the Eucharistic of 'praise and thanksgiving by the priest and the people, and the final one is the individual offering him/herself soul and body as a living sacrifice to God.

Andrewes sees the priest's role in two ways I believe. One is in persona Christi and in persona ecclesia.

9:29 am  
Blogger KosmicEggburst said...

Franz J. Leenhardt had a great perspective on this very thing. (ref: Leenhardt; Journal of Biblical Literature)

Leenhardt writes "What God does, He always does once only for all the other times and in view of all the other times when His intervention will continue to show itself in a saving way. On the level of the life of faith, nothing is more actual and operative than what God has done once for all".

This is if the history of salvation can be seen through the veil of the eucharist as a continuing thing, which I seem to find peace in, and confirm from many different writings on this interesting subject.

Leenhardt seems to allude that the anamnesis springs from the continuance via ephapax oekonomia, even after finding its fulfillment in Christ.

P. Brunner puts it this way: "The virtual inclusion of all human existence in the crucified body of Christ must be realized and actualized. There is not a new ephapax, or in repeating the former one as though it were not eternally sufficient.

If we do not deprive the idea of anamnesis of its true nature, then there is no need to emphasize the efficacious character of this anamnesis and is eschatological bearing that would threaten the oneness of ephapax and multiply the sacrifice of Christ by the number of its celebrations."

5:01 pm  

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